Budding audiophile

I’ve noted before that Apple headsets don’t work so well with the Galaxy S3. Happily this lead my to search for alternatives—with excellent results.

I should note that I did my shopping at Headphonic, and the headphones I chose were based on their excellent advice. They have great prices, policies and free shipping too! In fact, the second pair of headphones I ordered arrived in less than 24 hours! That’s Perth to Brisbane folks, pretty incredible! (The first headphones took longer as they weren’t in stock at the time I placed my order, which I did know in advance.)

Audio Technica ATH-AD700

These arrived in October. They are big, purple and copper coloured, open headphones. Gamers rave about them and for good reasons. They are super comfortable. Even though they are huge, they are very light and soft on the ears. They sound great, nice and clear. They do leak sound (people around you will easily hear what you are listening too) but likewise you can hear people talking to you without taking them off (unless what you are listening to is loud at the time!)

I have heard complaints that they do not have enough bass—I do not personally find this to be a problem. If you go someplace quiet and listen to music, these headphones deliver astounding clarity. The bass won’t overwhelm the rest of the music—which is how bass should be heard!—but you will hear it.

They may be a little impractical for a LAN, due to their size and open design. However, they score points for the social aspect—being able to hold conversations is a bonus! Depends on your preference and the type of LAN 🙂

Audio Technica ATH-AD700. Tell your friends.

Gaming accessories

The AD700s aren’t a “surround” headset but you can use dolby surround if your soundcard supports it. I added a soundcard to my PC with a headphone amp (Xonar DGX) and it’s all lovely now!

Lastly, for gaming you need a mic. Despite comments that it would be easy to find a clip on mic to use with these headphones, it was anything but. Everywhere seemed to be out of stock. I tried a desk mic from Dick Smith but my mates couldn’t hear me speak so that was no good (maybe I didn’t configure it right). I finally settled on the excellent ModMic. It’s simple to use and super effective, and I can use it with any headphones now or in the future!


Crossfade M-80 White Pearl

While that sorted me for gaming, I still needed something for day to day use. I figured out that I can use the S3 volume buttons to skip forward and back in my playlists, so using play/pause on the headset controls would get me by. I wanted something that sounded better while commuting, especially something that would let me hear the bass better against the backdrop of traffic and trains. The M-80s caught my eye. Well, look at them: Crossfade M-80 White Pearl (On-Ear). They are full of awesomeness!

As reported by others, these do get tight on the ears. [Update 10 April 2013: they’re not so tight when you extend the bands for a better fit!] At the end of my commute (about 1 hour 30 minutes) I can feel pains in the creases around my ear from having the m80s clamped down. This has been getting better as they wear in. This isn’t the comfort of the AD700s, but the sound is awesome! They isolate outside noise very well, you can still hear but it is muffled. And they boost bass in a lovely way, while keeping the rest of the music clear. Love it! They also come with a fantastic case and 2 headset cables: one for Apple devices (3 button remote) and one for others (single button). Both cables include a mic. Nice eh?

A very cool feature is that you can design your own shields to place on the sides. Celebrate your own brand—shiny!

My custom shields for M-80 headphones
I designed up this lion-dragon/port-starboard combo 🙂


Very happy with my headphones! Thanks again Headphonic, Audio Technica and V-Moda (oh, and ModMic!)


FYI, my criteria for headphones was this:

  1. not canalphones (the ones you poke inside your ears like earplugs)
  2. open enough to hear things when needed, but quiet enough they won’t disturb others
  3. listening to music on the train and at work
  4. play/pause controls
  5. microphone optional
  6. for computer gaming (my old USB headset required me to restart games when switching from speakers to headset)
  7. surround for computer gaming would be a bonus
  8. can plug into my amp for bass practice
  9. comfortable for long gaming/bass sessions

So, a pretty good result!

Sand In My Shoes

I love this song. Who doesn’t relate to the nostalgia immediately following a holiday?

I’ve been meaning to work out how to play the bass line for a while, since there are no tabs out there. Here’s my best effort. Love playing it! ~:)

Dido - Sand In My Shoes
Life for Rent - 2003
Track #8/11


Bass tab by  2012-11-17
(note: based on the album version, the music video varies the song structure)


Intro (pp)
   E                                   B                 Gb
G|-9~--------------|-~---------------|-----------------|-----------------|
D|-----------------|-----------------|-9~--------------|-----------------|
A|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|-9~--------------| x4
E|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|
   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &  

  (p) 0:30
   E                 B                 E                 B
G|-9---9---9---9---|-----------------|-9---9---9---9---|-----------------|
D|-----------------|-9---9---9---9---|-----------------|-9---9---9---9---| x2
A|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|
E|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|
   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &  


First verse
  ‘Two weeks away feels like the whole world should have changed’
   E                 B                 E                 B
G|-9---9---9---9---|-----------------|-9---9---9---9---|-----------------|
D|-----------------|-9---9---9---9---|-----------------|-9---9---9---9---| x2
A|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|
E|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|
   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &  

  ‘on the road, where the cars never stop going through the night’
   E                 B                 Db                Ab      Gb
G|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|
D|-2---2---2---2---|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|
A|-----------------|-2---2---2---2---|-4---4---4---4---|-----------------|
E|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|-4---4---2---2---|
   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &  


Chorus
  ‘I've still got sand in my shoes and I can't shake the thought of you’
   Db        GbAbB   Db          AbDb  B         GbAb    Gb      Ab  B
G|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|
D|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|
A|-4~--------2---2-|-4~------------4-|-2~--------2-----|-------------2---| x3
E|-------------4---|-------------4---|-------------4---|-2---2---4-4-----|
   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &  

‘and I~~~~~~~         wanna see you  a-gain~~’
   E                 B                 Gb
G|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|
D|-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|
A|-----------------|-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-|-----------------|-----------------|
E|-----------------|-----------------|-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-|-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-|
   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &  


Second verse
  ‘Tomorrow's back to work and down to sanity’
   E                                   B
G|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|
D|-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-|-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-|-----------------|-----------------|
A|-----------------|-----------------|-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-|-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-| x3
E|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|
   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &  

   Db                                  Ab                Gb
G|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|
D|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|
A|-4-4-4-4-4-4-4-4-|-4-4-4-4-4-4-4-4-|-----------------|-----------------|
E|-----------------|-----------------|-4-4-4-4-4-4-4-4-|-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-|
   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &  


Chorus (once, then repeat last 4 bars)
‘and I~~~~~~~         wanna see you  a-gain~~’
   E                 B                 Gb
G|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|
D|-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|
A|-----------------|-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-|-----------------|-----------------|
E|-----------------|-----------------|-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-|-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-|
   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &  


Bridge
   Db        GbAbB   Db        GbAbB   Db        GbAbB   Db    GbAbB   E
G|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|
D|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|---------------2-|
A|-4-4-4-4-4-----2-|-4-4-4-4-4-----2-|-4-4-4-4-4-----2-|-4-4-4-----2-4---| x3
E|-----------2h44--|-----------2h44--|-----------2h44--|-------2h44------|
   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &  

   Db        GbAbB             GbAbB             GbAbB   Db
G|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|
D|---------------2-|---------------2-|---------------2-|-----------------|
A|-4-4-4-4-4-------|-4-4-4-4-4-------|-4-4-4-4-4-------|-4~--------------|
E|-----------2h44--|-----------2h44--|-----------2h44--|-----------------|
   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &  


Chorus x2

‘and I~~~~~~~         wanna see you  a-gain~~’
   E                 B                 Gb                          E GbB
G|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|
D|-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-|-----------------|-----------------|---------------9-|
A|-----------------|-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-|-9-9-9-9-9-9-9-9-|-9-9-9-9-9-7-9---|
E|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|
   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &  

   E                 B                 Gb
G|-9~--------------|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|
D|-----------------|-9~--------------|-----------------|-----------------|
A|-----------------|-----------------|-9~--------------|-~---------------|
E|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|
   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &  



(p)  - piano (play quietly)
(pp) - pianissimo (play very quietly)
h    - hit
~    - let it ring

I may be paranoid, but not an android

Time for another post about android? You bet!

I tried iOS 6 on my iPhone 4 for a week and quite liked it. Then I bit the bullet, rooted my galaxy S3 and installed a custom rom on it to get the latest android: jelly bean.

The rom I chose, after very little research, is called paranoid android. It’s based on another rom called CyanogenMod. The key feature of paranoid android is that you can pretend your phone is a tablet. You can do this per app. Some apps give you different UI layouts on different devices, paranoid android lets you use them on a single device. It’s a great idea and works a treat.

The downside to using a mod rather than a stock rom is that some of the stock features no longer work. On the S3 this means many of the advanced motion controls cannot be enabled: like having the screen stay on while you look at it. This is pretty minor, many of these features are gimmicks.

The most glaring problem is that Wi-Fi hotspot does not work. I was hoping to use that for my iPad when away from home, but it’s completely broken. Less of an issue, but there are some features in the Samsung camera app that are not available in the default Google app: backlight scene mode is one I would like to have.

So is a custom rom worth it? Oh yes. Jelly bean is great. Removing Samsung’s customisations is good, I prefer the Google experience. I also like that I can disable the hardware back button (which I kept touching by accident) and adding softkeys to the bottom of the screen. Give up a little real estate, but you get more functionality. The menu button can launch Google now (long press), and the back button becomes a hide keyboard button when you are typing. Nice!

Jelly bean articles talk a lot about “Project Butter” and how the UI is “buttery smooth” which I think sounds pretty silly. Having used it though, the animations are very nice when using home screens and the apps menu. It is definitely much better than the old ice cream sandwich UI. I could elaborate, but let me just say it’s as good as promised (even if it does sound a little silly). I especially love the animation when taking photos. It’s very clear when a photo has been snapped!

Custom roms are tricky to install though. I’ve wiped my phone a few times in the process. I think the simplest solution may be to buy a Google phone, rather than a Samsung. That should mean the jelly bean experience is unaltered and updates are released sooner.

I tried the Samsung flip case. It’s nice, but awkward for me. I’ve put a Case Mate barely there bumper on and that’s exactly what I needed. I don’t press the volume and power buttons by accident much anymore, and I can put the phone face down without it resting on the screen. It hasn’t made the phone much wider, I find it very comfortable in my pocket. I chose the purple case—it’s perfect paired with a Decepticon insignia!

One last note: the super amoled screen in the galaxy S3 is very nice, but it is not as good as the retina display in the iPhone 4. I can see the gaps etween the pixels when I hold the phone close (10 cm). But with such a large screen, holding it a little further away is no problem at all! Turn the brightness up a bit to experience the full glory!

The verdict? Very happy with my customised S3. Really like android jelly bean 🙂

This ain’t no place for no hero

Gearbox have followed up Borderlands with an awesome sequel—Borderlands 2.

These role playing shooters (RPS) are set on Pandora—a planet pretty much on the outer rim of civilisation (that’s probably why it’s called Borderlands right?). If you’re thinking about the awesome space western Firefly, you’re thinking the right kind of setting.

A setting like this demands an awesome soundtrack, with an especially awesome introduction track. The original Borderlands brought us Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked by Cage the Elephant (Borderlands fans should check out this fan comic). Borderlands 2 has done it again, with Short Change Hero by The Heavy (not the actual film clip). Both songs start slow, but their funky alt-rock-country grooves will have you by the end. Enjoy!

Bass tabs for Short Change Hero are rarer than epic loots, and I dunno what key guitarists are playing those ‘chords’ in but this sounds good to me. Get your bass out and lay down a groove! 🙂 If you’ve got suggestions, drop a comment!

The Heavy - Short Change Hero
As featured in: Borderlands 2

Bass tab: Ben Boyle  2012-10-05

Intro (no bass) until 1:24

Verse

   Db          AbB   Db                                              AbDb 
G|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|
D|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|
A|-4~----4-4~----2-|-4~----4-4~----2-|-4~----4-4~----2-|-4~----4-4~----4-|
E|-------------4---|-------------4---|-------------4---|-------------4---|
   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &  

   B             Ab  Gb          AbB   Db
G|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|
D|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|
A|-2~--2~--2---2---|---------------2-|-4~----4-4~----2-|-4~----4-4~----2-|
E|-----------4---4-|-2-2-2-2-2-2-4---|-------------4---|-------------4---| x2
   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &  

   Db          AbB   Db                                              AbDb 
G|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|
D|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|
A|-4~----4-4~----2-|-4~----4-4~----2-|-4~----4-4~----2-|-4~----4-4~----4-|
E|-------------4---|-------------4---|-------------4---|-------------4---|
   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &  

   B             Ab  Gb          AbB   Db
G|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|
D|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|
A|-2~--2~--2-2-2---|---------------2-|-4~----4-4~----2-|-4~--------------|
E|---------------4-|-2-2-2-2-2-2-4---|-------------4---|-----------------|
   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &  


Chorus “This ain’t no place for no hero…”
Same as the verse, give it a tad more punch! 🙂

   Db          AbB   Db                                              AbDb 
G|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|
D|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|
A|-4~----4-4~----2-|-4~----4-4~----2-|-4~----4-4~----2-|-4~----4-4~----4-|
E|-------------4---|-------------4---|-------------4---|-------------4---|
   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &  

   B             Ab  Gb          AbB   Db
G|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|
D|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|
A|-2~--2~--2---2---|---------------2-|-4~--4-4~--4---2-|-4~--4-4~--4---2-|
E|-----------4---4-|-2-2-2-2-2-2-4---|-------------4---|-------------4---| x2
   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &  


Bridge silent bass at 2:55 “every time I close my eyes…”
Bring back root notes, VERY softly, 3:31 (2 bars ahead of drummer)

   Db                
G|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|
D|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|
A|-4~--------------|-4~--------------|-4~--------------|-4~--------------|
E|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|
   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &  

   B                 Gb                Db                            GbE
G|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|
D|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|-------------4-2-|
A|-2~--------------|-----------------|-4~--------------|-4~--------------|
E|-----------------|-2~--------------|-----------------|-----------------|
   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &  


Chorus x2

Outro

   Db          AbB   Db                                              AbDb 
G|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|
D|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|
A|-4~--4-4~--4---2-|-4~--4-4~--4---2-|-4~--4-4~--4---2-|-4~--4-4~--4---4-|
E|-------------4---|-------------4---|-------------4---|-------------4---|
   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &  

   B                 Gb                Db
G|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|
D|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|
A|-2~----------2---|-----------------|-4~--------------|-4---------------|
E|---------------4-|-2~------------4-|-----------------|-----------------|
   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &   1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &  


Enjoy!

Great song by The Heavy
Great choice by Gearbox

~:)

Friday night—it’s all about winning. Music. Loots. Bazillions of loots.

Want more? Check out:

Phone, camera, music and network

There’s a lot of chatter on tech blogs comparing iPhone, S3, lumia and more. Talk about cameras and 4G and operating systems.

For me, using an S3 is a stark reminder that before my first iPhone, I carried an iPod and a phone. Doubletwist kept pausing music today and the headset controls weren’t snappy like I want them to be. Should my phone first and foremost be an iPod? Something to ponder…

When you buy a flagship phone, that’s what you should get

Let’s fire up the Samsung vs Apple debate—not about patents. I want to discuss the customer experience of buying a flagship phone.

When you buy an iPhone, you can pretty much expect you have the top product apple has on offer for about the next 12 months. You can upgrade every year or 2 to keep pace, or know you’ll have a pretty awesome phone regardless.

I expected similar from Samsung, though in hindsight this is a strange expectation. Samsung release many, many more products, and those products are going to compete with each other. The Galaxy Note 2 is an interesting comparison, for example, but these are different phones for customers who want different things.

What I didn’t expect, was for Samsung to release a better S3! But coming out this month is an S3 with 4G network support, available in black and grey. New colours are cosmetic—but why doesn’t my S3 have 4G support? To cap it off, they get the Jelly Bean update. Where’s my update!

Why is this a problem? It’s not a big deal really, but when you buy a top of the line S3, you expect to have a top of the line S3. You don’t expect to have a ‘second best’ S3 within weeks. :/

I encountered this news while looking for accessories—something that’s also easier to do over in the apple camp!

Big phone week

Two big pieces of phone news this week. Naturally everyone knows the iPhone 5 was announced but most people probably don’t know my replacement Galaxy S3 finally arrived. It vibrates!! So good.

Expect some more comparisons in coming weeks. I am looking forward to trying the camera out properly this time. I am also looking forward to the android “jelly bean” update, though I will say iOS update news is much clearer. When apple update iOS, you get the update. When google update android, you wait for Samsung to do something… Samsung’s information about upcoming OS releases is rubbish. They really need to improve there.

Meanwhile, to make comparisons more interesting I bought an iPad 2. I passed on ‘the new iPad’ because (a) it costs more, (b) it chews battery faster, (c) weighs more and (d) has a silly name. I grew up on ‘New Street’, and let me tell you that name gets old fast.

iPad 2 is doing a great job for reading comics, books and news via flipboard. All of which are nice on the S3, but the iPad screen is bigger.

This way I get to keep my iOS content: apps, tv shows and movies. I also discovered—when a friend loaned me one during a jam session—it’s great for quickly looking up bass tabs on the Internet.

So this is the plan: iPad, Galaxy S3 and iPhone 5 envy. But hopefully not much of the latter! 😉

Return of the Galaxy S3

I said I had finished posting about android vs iPhone, but I was wrong!

I’m still waiting to return my faulty S3—yes, kogan support is that slow—and I’ve been using the Galaxy S3 again for the past week. I’ve got a couple of new comparisons to add for those interested.

Form factor: Samsung Galaxy S3 vs apple iPhone 4

Form factor is the physical size and shape of the phone. The Galaxy S3 is thinner, lighter, more slippery and has buttons in different locations.

Thick or thin?

The Galaxy S3 fits beautifully in jeans pockets. Being light, thin and slightly curved, it’s a very comfortable fit. It isn’t bendy, but it feels like it moves freely with you whereas other more chunky items—iPhones, wallets, 3DS, etc.—feel … unbendy. That’s a plus. However, when it comes to taking photos, I prefer the thickness of the iPhone 4 to the tapered sides of the Galaxy S3. It feels more solid, which I like. I feel steadier.

Hardware buttons

I find myself accidentally pressing buttons more often on the S3, particularly the power button on the side of the phone. I think apple were smart putting that button on the top out of the way. I also tend to bump the back button (bottom left corner, next to the home button) and it is quite sensitive. This can be frustrating, when you accidentally close apps you are trying to use! It doesn’t happen too often. On the other hand, I now find myself tapping uselessly on this spot on my iPhone which does nothing. It doesn’t help that the iPhone apps typically put ‘back’ in the top right corner of the screen. I still forget there is a dedicated menu button in the bottom left and frequently hunt through the UI for settings in apps, until I remember—‘there is a menu button!’

I really think the iPhone 4 nailed the button placement. I like the separate volume up and down buttons—bonus points for using the ‘+’ button as a camera shutter. I like that these buttons are circles on the iPhone—the volume rocker feels a bit thin on the S3. Everything is thin on the S3! Back to the iPhone, the power/lock button is nicely out of the way on the top and the dedicated silent button is a treat. The home buttons are about the same. It’s unfortunate I keep clicking buttons by accident on the S3, but give me time and those habits should change.

Slippin’ and slidin’

The texture and curved back on the S3 make it prone to sliding off angled surfaces, like armrests on couches. Trying to balance it on your leg is tricky, and if you use your phone as a torch at night and want to sit it on a ledge, better make sure it’s flat. You can use an S3 as a level—if it falls on the ground, the surface was not level! (I’m just joking, I don’t use it like that and neither should you!) My iPhone 4 has a bumper on it (I can’t get decent reception without a bumper) and that has good grip! Bumpers get dirty though, so that’s a downside. Still, an iPhone with bumper is more likely to stay where you place it than a Galaxy S3. Is this an issue? Depends on where you like to sit your phone ~:)

Apps—cross platform for the win

There are great apps on both, but having switched between the 2 phones (and I will be back on my iPhone when the S3 is sent back for replacement) I can’t get enough of cross platform apps. Forget iMessage, try WhatsApp on both iOS and android. It’s really good! Steer clear of iBooks—you have plenty of choice with Kobo, Kindle and Google play books (available on both). And for note taking, evernote is impressing me. I have also switched from 1password to keepass, and storing the keepass database on dropbox means it’s always available! I haven’t found an app that is like Reminders on iPhone though… any suggestions?

I’m enjoying the doubletwist music player. I’d still prefer the headset integration on the iPhone, but I like the doubletwist app better than the iPod app. It has 2 small quirks—it won’t sync ratings back to iTunes (yet? I hope) and it displays all album art as square, so some artwork is skewed. Brilliant playlist management on the go though, nice lock screen UI, and the syncing works fine!

Interestingly, google drive gives you access to all your documents on both—but it’s read only on the iPhone, while you can edit on the S3! Win!

The verdict?

Use whichever you like! There are clear differences between the devices and operating systems, but I wouldn’t recommend either over the other. It’s got to be a personal choice. We will see how my resolve is tested if/when an iPhone 5 is released. In the meantime, I think the S3 will make a fine phone and maybe I’d like an iPad for using iOS apps! But I’ll be saving money and waiting to see what apple will announce next…

All this will also depend on: how quickly kogan get a replacement phone—with working vibrate—out to me, when iOS 6 is released, when Samsung release android 4.1 Jelly Bean for the Galaxy S3. Let the race begin!

ps: I’m less convinced about the keyboard superiority now, the go keyboard is good but not without quirks ~:)

Back to iPhone—but is it better than S3

I am returning my faulty S3—vibrate is a feature I don’t want to go without. I bought from kogan and am going to use their 14 day money back guarantee.

Why not get a replacement? It’s a personal thing. I’d rather not start out with a new gadget with double the delay (waiting for shipping again) and the feeling that I have a refurbished product instead of something new. Even though refurbs go through better quality control! 🙂

Don’t read that and think it means the iPhone is better than the S3. My wife had a faulty iPhone 4 out of the box so I think both Apple and Samsung can do better at shipping working products!

Back on the iPhone there are some things I’m glad to have back—and some things I miss.

Swipe (sweep?) to type is the most noticeable. I wonder who has patents on that. The android keyboards, particularly the go keyboard, are really good. The predictive text was better and I felt more in control. The iPhone autocorrect sometimes switches words after I have moved on and I find it harder to catch that. It feels like it has slowed down—it felt quite responsive when I first used an iPhone 3G. Now I frequently find myself going back to retype a word that got changed after I typed it. Android clearly shows predictive text results as you type and it’s easy to choose between them. Since the iPhone doesn’t always give you choices, you can find yourself tapping a lot more to get the words you want. Also, the iPhone stubbornly insists on autocorrecting my email from benjamins.boyle to Benjamin’s.Boyle and android never had that issue (it always gave me both options).

I prefer selecting text on iPhone and find copy and paste easier, but on the whole I miss the android typing experience. The wider screen helped too.

It’s good to have my headset fully functional again, but if the doubletwist app was available for iOS I would give it a go. I liked that airsync could sync with any computer at any time (works good with iTunes home sharing on my laptop and PC). It’s a shame iOS will only sync with one computer (or am I doing it wrong?)

Miss the bigger screen for readings books and comics but will survive.

App switching is definitely simpler on iPhone. Task manager works ok on android, but using task manager instead of the home screens is daft. The home screens are beautiful and with widgets easily better than iOS—but resetting apps by launching from shortcuts is wrong. The task manager launches apps better, but is nowhere near as nice as home screens. Take your pick there—I’m interested to see how both improve in this space. iOS 6 doesn’t seem to have widgets so I think android might be better—if they improve switching between apps using shortcuts (maybe there is a way to improve this that I did not discover).

Nice to use iMessage again—since my wife uses an iPhone too.

Not sure if my next phone will be an iPhone 5 or android. Interested in both! Shame the google nexus phone is not available in Australia.

I would like an android device, but not sure what. The nexus 7 tablet sounded good, but a poor fit for me I think. Wifi only limits it to home use and I don’t need another device at home. Also disappointing that services like google music are not available outside the US, and yet we are expected to pay $50 more. Georestrictions and regional price gouging are lame.

For now this will wind up my posts on iPhone and android. Happy shopping!